“I think even most 8-year-olds will tell you that whole slavery thing wasn’t very good for black people. Jim Crow wasn’t very good for black people,” Obama told ABC.
“It’s unrealistic to think that somehow that all just completely went away, because the Civil Rights Act was passed or because Oprah’s making a lot of money or because I was elected president,” he continued. “You know, that’s not how society works. And if you have hundreds of years of racial discrimination it’s likely that the vestiges of that discrimination linger on. And we should acknowledge that and own that.”
The President also addressed the violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Obama said that over the past few years, most people concerned about the relationship between the police and the black community have been “doing it the right way.”
“Every once in a while you see folks doing it the wrong way. Looting, breaking glass, those things are not going to advance the cause,” he said.
Obama hopes that “people in the community pull together and say, ‘How do we do this the right way?’”